Digital Activism

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Photo Taken from Storify

People are hoping to change the world through technology. With 2.4 billion people in 2012 having access to the Internet there is an advantage for activist to take to technology. Activist use digital technology (blogs, micro-blogs, SMS, websites, social networks, video, etc.) to: shape the public opinion, plan an action, protect other activists, share a call to action, take action digitally, and to transfer resources.

digital-map-full
Photo Taken from KND Digital

“The 6 Activist Functions of Digital Tech” article says, “Anyone with an Internet connection can start a blog. Anyone with a smartphone can record and upload a video of police abuse. Not only can people act as citizen journalists, creating their own news stories, they can also educate and raise awareness of injustice by curating and re-broadcasting news stories to their friends using whatever social media platform they prefer, or even an old-fashioned technology like email.”

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Photo Taken fro Code for Pittsburgh

When I thought of researching activists I thought of a crowd of people sitting outside a building with picket signs and starting riots, but today we don’t see much of this scenario. All todays activist have to do is click the mouse or press enter and it quickly soars through technology for millions of internet users to see. “The New Face of Teen Activism” article says, “With an estimated two in five young adults engaging with social issues online, we’ve entered into the age of digital activism, where grassroots movements are created through tweets, reblogs, likes, and status updates. Though some critics derisively refer to it as “slacktivism,”this new wave is proving how logging on can seriously impact your community—and the world.” With Twitter all you have to write is 140 characters and it can reach thousands of users across the globe.

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Photo Taken from Robert W. Mills

I think this is somewhat scary information to wrap your head around because no matter what you post on social media someone will see it. Just as quickly as you delete what you just wrote someone can screenshot it and use it against you. Social media can be used negatively. I’ve seen this in the high school setting quite a bit and there’s been a lot of suicides based on what was shared on social media.

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Photo Taken from The Inspired Classroom

Once I’m a teacher it will be important to teach my students what an incredible tool technology can be if used in a positive way. Marc Prensky wrote, “Technology gives kids power that people their age have never had. Let’s help them use it wisely.” Student can be shown how to stand up against bullying, bring awareness to those who suffer from mental illnesses, or they can inspire others to believe in themselves by using Twitter, Facebook, or blogs.

I’ve never participated as a digital activist and when on my social media accounts I don’t see many users participating as an activist. I think activism is effective in both positive and negative scenarios. If I was an activist I would like to bring more attention to bullying and what just a few words can do to a person that end up in suicide. I’m very passionate about suicide prevention.

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Photo Taken from PAYSPI
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2 thoughts on “Digital Activism”

  1. I did not agree with the term “slacktivism.” If you are very passionate about digital activism and are consistently sharing content about it, you could be reaching a huge number of people via sharing. Just because it is easier to be digitally active, it does not mean that it is not effective. I know that I have seen posts shared my friends that came from people I did not know in other states.

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  2. One of the awesome things about digital activism is that opinions and facts on current issues can reach millions of people all around the world. Yes, the term “slacktivism” indicates that people who decide to take part in activism solely through the use of digital activism are lazy, but in reality, their posts and comments probably reach more people than traditional riots and marches. One negative that I thought of with digital activism, though, is that anyone and everyone can post their opinions and statements on issues. This means that there could very well be invalid and uneducated statements being made on current issues. I could see it being very difficult to decipher reliable posts from unreliable ones when they could both come from everyday, ordinary people.

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